Thursday, April 12, 2007

Iconoclasts, Unite! But then Iconoclasts wouldn't be Iconoclasts.

When do you tip at a restaurant, and when do you not? They're discussing this on the radio right now. If the restaurant is going to pay servers the minimum $2.15 or whatever it is now, are you obligated to tip so they get a living wage? There are states and townships that believe so to the point they have passed laws requiring the customer tip. (Cartoon: one prisoner to another in the holding cell: "What are you in for?" "I didn't leave a tip for my hamburger.")

The specific argument in question is whether you tip the person who brings the food to your car when you don't tip the person at the drive-through window. As a point of clarification, the carhop who serves you gets $5.15 plus tips in this area. Does that change things? What about the Chinese buffet (or any other kind)? If you are seated and get a glass of water, do you automatically leave a dollar? More? None? Do refills matter on the answer?

And do you want the government legislating the answer? Apparently a fair number of people actually would prefer to have this decision made for them, since laws on this have actually passed. They are in such angst over which of 50 salsas, 100 soft drink or water bands,or beers, American Idol votes, etc., to choose from, they just don't have attention left over for this stuff. Or maybe it's their kids who are getting paid and they want them to finally move out of the house on their own.

Someone has to pay for this, don't they?

There's grumbling among Dallas police this morning. Chief Kunkle has announced that any of his officers--or the firefighters, for that matter-- responding to a non-emergency call will be fined like everyone else for running a red light camera. The city now has 30 cameras. Next month they go to 60. $75 a pop, which is why the Texas legislative muzzle has nosed into the trough and now is demanding half from the cities installing them. Officers protest that in the middle of the night when they are responding to non-emergency calls, they frequently ease through a red light when there is no traffic. Stopping at a totally empty intersection for a red light will slow response times, they say. It will, too. The chief responded that he doesn't want the public perception to be that his officers are above the law. Well, that's an honest observation, too. Still, does it seem to you that more and more we are going with perception instead of reality?

The common theme is "What are we supposed to do?" and, perhaps, the waning tolerance that people with common sense can make up their minds their ownselves.

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